The Sunday News
Rumbidzai Mbewe, Sunday Life Correspondent
The last day of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair is the most anticipated day for the young as there are a number of entertainment activities lined up for that day. The day is always buzz filled with so many entertainment activities from the Lunar Park, to the inner circles of the Trade Fair with so many companies exhibiting their works.
Some artistes in the city were not pleased with the fact that their industry was not represented as artistes did not take advantage of the international showcase. Taking it to Facebook, playwright and director, Raisedon Baya said he was disappointed by the near absence of the arts and culture sector as part of the exhibitors.
“Only the National Art Gallery in Bulawayo had a stand. As for the parent ministry I will not speak. What is at the Trade Fair in terms of arts and culture is a representation of the actual reality on the ground. It is disjointed, disorganised, departments and sub-sectors working in isolation. Perhaps this speaks more of a serious problem that we all don’t want to face or talk about,’ he said.
Responding to his comment, Noma Sibanda said the problem was that no one thinks of the opportunities that come with such events for the future generation.
“This explains why our valuable cultural heritage is not passed on from generation to generation. Such events should be celebrations of who we are, what we are capable of and showcasing this country worldwide,” she said.
Local musician, Khulekani Khuxxman Bethule expressed the same concerns as Baya. He said musicians should have their own stand where they entertain people at the Trade Fair as well and use this opportunity to sell their music or art.
“I remember back then when the musicians association had that vision, we approached the leadership of Trade Fair and they were more than happy to give us space but what did we do, we started fighting for useless stuff. At the end of the day it all failed and the Trade Fair took us as clowns,” he said.
Some of the people who commented urged artistes to be entrepreneurs in order for them to succeed in this industry. They said artistes lack the expertise to run the arts as a business and they should be the ones initiating talks with people organising such big events.
“Most artistes are not entrepreneurs, neither are they businesspeople. You are artistes. You lack the expertise to run the arts as a business. It is not a crime, it is a fact. Seek professional advice from marketers and entrepreneurs, who will help turn your arts into business,” said Habitat Afrika.
However, Clayton Moyo thought acquiring a stand at the ZITF will be a waste of resources that artistes do not have. He said the creative industries have better platforms that give them better results than exhibiting at ZITF.
“Times have changed. I would like to see a fair for the creative industries spearheaded by the ministry. That kind of idea would be cool, don’t you think? I would also like the ministry to build an Arts Center as a Government commitment to the creative industries since they are not exhibiting anyway,” he said.